Public transport vs cars

It is important to understand why more people don’t use public transport. It’s a lot to do with convenience and habit also pays a big part. I suspect that the last time many people traveled by bus buses were not as modern and comfortable as they are now and smoking was allowed on them.

Why is a car more convenient than public transport?

1/ Speed of getting from A to B

2/ Convenience of being picked up and dropped off door to door

3/ Not having to wait or being involved in timetables

4/ Able to carry goods – shopping from the local supermarket, children and all their paraphernalia, etc

Why is public transport more convenient than a car?

1/ Don’t have to drive

2/ Don’t have to think about parking

3/ If you rely on PT entirely don’t have the worry and expense of owning a car

How can the authorities influence the public to choose to go by PT?

1/ By making it cheaper to go by public transport – increase parking, fuel etc. charges and decrease fares

2/ By increasing the frequency and spread of PT

3/ By making buses and trains more convenient for carrying goods – including bicycles which can be used for part of a longer journey or for leisure – and shopping – wheeled trolleys like old people use could be made in different sizes and enlarged for the weekly shop and ramps designed for ease of getting them and pushchairs aboard.

4/ In large conurbations by providing free or reasonably priced personal transport (e.g. bikes, electric vehicles) at stations and other sites.

5/ By increasing the punctuality and reliability of PT.

The disadvantages of cars.

People often don’t realise what the downside of cars but if they cycle or live on or near a main road they do. Cars are noisy and dangerous. So noisy that it’s difficult to get away from their noise entirely, so dangerous if they were invented now health and safety would ban them. Cars spoil the centres of all our cities, towns and villages with their air and noise pollution and even when they’re not moving, just by being there. Parking clutters our roads and often our pavements and creates the needs for some of the ugliest of current urban development – the car park. Whether a tarmac wasteland or a multi-storey monstrosity car parks are a blight on the landscape. The need to park is more pervasive than is immediately obvious – planning regulations often require the provision of parking spaces. I recently had to flatten half of a lovely walled garden to obtain planning permission. I was converting a 9-bedroom Victorian terrace into two apartments of 2 and 4 bedrooms.

Then there are the roads that are continually expanding, taking up more and more land just in order to allow the motorist to get forever faster from A to B. Journey length is judged by time as well as by distance so by speeding up the system so people can go further in a particular length of time you increase the number of cars. As an example if 1 hour is the maximum commuting time that a person will consider this would equate to say 30 miles on country roads or 70 miles on motorways.

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